Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dying Toms

I decided a while ago that I wanted to wear Toms during my wedding (along with the rest of the bridal party). I wanted them to match the orange of the ties and bouquets, but the Tom's website don't currently offer that color. I decided I'd get white and take a stab at dying them. David and I just got ours in, so I decided to use them as a test run.


I figured if I was going to ruin anyone's shoes, I'd rather them be my own. Also, since they won't be in the same dye batch as the bridesmaids' and groomsmen's they might not end up the same color, and it would look more intentional for ours to be different than for one groomsman to have a different color than the rest.

I followed this tutorial. I covered the bottom sole, inner sole and the tags with painter's tape, then started to cover that with clear packaging tape. I ran out the packaging tape half way through, so I used duct tape to finish.


I used Rit liquid fabric dye in Tangerine. I was going for a really intense color, so I used the whole bottle of dye in a 5 gallon bucket, which I placed in the bathtub. I filled it about half way full of really hot water, then dunked in the shoes.


I left the solid canvas shoes in for 8 minutes before pulling out one and rinsing it in cold water. I wanted to make sure the color wouldn't lighten too much when rinsed. It didn't, so I pulled out and rinsed the other one, as well. The crochet shoes didn't seem to be absorbing the dye as fast, so I left them in for 30 minutes.


A few notes on things I plan to do differently when I dye the rest of the shoes: the clear packaging tape came right off while soaking in the dye. The duct tape did stick, but the painter's tape alone did a sufficient job of protecting the parts I wanted left un-dyed, so I don't think another layer of tape is necessary. 

In fact, the painter's tape stuck a little too well to the inner soles. When I peeled it off, it pulled out the sole and peeled off some of the text that's printed on the sole. Next time, I won't bother taping this part at all for four reasons: it didn't prevent the leather from getting wet, actually damaged the shoe by pulling out the sole, no one will be able to tell if the sole is dyed when the shoe is being worn, and taping that area was the most tedious part. 

Also, I will wear gloves next time. My hand is going to be orange for many days.


Since it was raining outside, I used hooks to hang the shoes inside the bucket I used for dying. This preventing orange-tinged water from staining my bath tub, and kept the shoes out of the water that dripped off of them. 


As you can tell, most of the dye rinsed out of the crochet shoes. I'm assuming whatever type of material they are made from just isn't as absorbent. I don't hate the color they ended up as, but I will throw them in the dye when I do the next batch to see if they become any darker. 


You can see a few spots where dye got on the outer sole. Not a big deal to me.


And the tags stayed white!


Chico and Chubby made sure things didn't get too rowdy while I was photographing the finished shoes.

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I try not to think too much about what could go wrong when doing stuff like this. Not sure if that's good or not! :)

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  2. I'm surprised Toms doesn't make something in orange, but those look great! I tried diying shoes for my wedding too but....let's just say pinterest fail, haha. Good luck dyeing the shoes for the rest of your wedding party!

    ~em @ small girl, big world

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    1. Thanks! Toms does have some orange shoes, just not the shade I was going for. And I have definitely had plenty of Pinterest fails myself!

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  3. I have black canvas cordones there color has dyed out :( will this work?!?! Help me plz ASAP!!!!!!

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    1. Are you trying to keep them black and just refresh the color? I would say this method would work pretty well, though I have only tried dying white shoes.

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  4. Do you think this would work with Tom's wedges?

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    1. As long as they are made of the same canvas-y type material I don't see why not. The only problem I would see would be masking off the wedge part. Especially if it is made of the jute type stuff the tape may not adhere very well.

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  5. Did the crochet shoes get any darker when you dyed them a second time with the other shoes?

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    1. No they didn't. In fact, I ended up bleaching them back to their original color because I just wasn't happy with how they turned out.

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  6. do you think this would work on the lace Toms?? I need purple shoes for my wedding!

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    1. Are the lace and the crochet the same? I really didn't have much luck with dying the crochet, but I also wanted a really vibrant color. If you're okay with a more pastel tone, it could work for you.

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  7. I was wondering do you think this would work on a lime green pair? I'd like to change it to be pinkish.... maybe if I bleached them first?

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    1. Or perhaps even a blue? I've never worked with Rit dye before.

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    2. Bleaching them first would probably be the way to go, otherwise I think your color would be off.

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  8. I have lilac crochet ones and want them black. Do you think it would work?

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    1. Probably so, since you're going to such a dark color.

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  9. Thank you so much for this!!! I just bought a pair of Tom's at the Thrift Store yesterday!!! Was SOOOOO excited to find them for $15, I didn't even care that they were yellow!!... which is not exactly 'my color'. I'm planning on just getting black or dark brown dye for mine - I just want them 'dark' - Again, thank you!!

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